I have a large oak tree (about 40ft tall, 2-3ft diameter) in my back
yard. Last summer the cicada really did a number on it, killing about
60-70% of the leaves at that time. This summer the killed 60% never
came back, and the tree wasn't looking that great. I Just came back
from vacation to find that huge chuncks on the bark at the base have
fallen off (like half of it on the base), with cracks running up the
sides (presumably telling me that the bark is going to fall off).
Another interesting fact is that I have really let the grass grow up
around the base of the tree, having weed wacked it only once this
summer. Poking around the base of the tree it appears that there are
ants and other nasty things living in the base.
My question(s) is(are): I am I the tree killer, or those noisy cicada?
Would the lack of maintance of the grass with excesive build up cause
the tree to rot? Can Should I dig back to clear the roots? Is there
any hope? Can grass build up cause the base of a tree to rot?
Thanks for any/all input.